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(134,265 posts)
Wed Mar 9, 2022, 11:07 AM Mar 2022

Patient in Groundbreaking Heart Transplant Dies [View all]

Source: New York Times

The first person to have his failing heart replaced with that of a genetically altered pig in a groundbreaking operation died Tuesday afternoon at the University of Maryland Medical Center, two months after the transplant surgery. David Bennett Sr., who lived in Maryland, was 57. He had severe heart disease, and had agreed to receive the experimental pig’s heart after he was rejected from several waiting lists to receive a human heart.

It was unclear whether his body had rejected the foreign organ. “There was no obvious cause identified at the time of his death,” a hospital spokeswoman said. Hospital officials said they could not comment further on the cause of death, because his physicians had yet to conduct a thorough examination. They plan to publish the results in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Dr. Bartley Griffith, the surgeon who performed the transplant, said the hospital’s staff was “devastated” by the loss of Mr. Bennett. “He proved to be a brave and noble patient who fought all the way to the end,” Dr. Griffith said. “Mr. Bennett became known by millions of people around the world for his courage and steadfast will to live.”

The heart transplant was one of a number of pioneering procedures in recent months in which organs from genetically altered pigs were used to replace organs in humans. The process, called xenotransplantation, offers new hope for tens of thousands of patients with ailing kidneys, hearts and other organs, as there is an acute shortage of donated organs.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/09/health/heart-transplant-pig-bennett.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

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